Abstract: Education in the past has always been centered on teaching and learning, but information technology has made some great changes to the means of education. Now education is increasingly perceived as the process of applying knowledge in various ways. The perceptions of knowledge itself have changed whereas knowledge could once have been perceived as unchanging. With the introduction of modern information technology, we are able to individualize learning for students.

ICT will change the way students learn, the way classes are being taught and will overall nhance the purpose of education. By investigating the type of technology used and the progress students are making in school using them, we are truly able to see a correlation between Internet technology and education. This study will show that there is a strong correlation between academic performances, increase in student learning, a change in teaching methods that benefit from the use of information technology.

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In order for us to achieve higher order thinking skills and be engaged in a more stimulating learning environment, we must engage in the use of technology on an everyday basis. Introduction Over the last 50 years, we have seen many technological advances in education. Computers were not even around a few decades ago, and now every single classroom has one in them. Students are becoming very technological sa’. n. y, and are always school can be considered as being “digital natives. Digital natives are known as having grown up with digital technology such as the Internet, computers, cell phones, and MP3 players. This is important to understand, as having a computer in your home as well as being exposed to one in the classroom really does increase a student’s awareness of technology and also broadens their views on the global conomy. The technology used today reaches beyond the classroom to help students learn that have disabilities, rural inaccessibility, or even being home schooled. This let’s them have more options to learn and investigate.

With the use of Internet connection, teachers and students have a portal and connection to almost every part of the world. Computers allow us to develop high order thinking skills, in which technology is being applied in a meaningful way. The history of technological developments has often shown us the links that are created between the innovations in industry, as well s the communication with improvements in educational methods. The propagation and the success of web based curriculum at every level of education is Just one of the many examples of importance of technology to teachers and students alike.

The greater the reach of educational programs to a larger growing population of students via the Internet continues to really push and challenge educators. They now are able to find ways to adapt to the latest technological enhancements that are made within the classroom, as well as find out different ways to improve the students’ educational experience altogether. Information and communication technology are so unique and amazing in their ability to take a traditional lesson and offer it in multimedia formats.

This causes us to provide a different means of real time teaching and also introduces online instruction too. We can definitely say that the new up and coming technologies that are being brought to world will indeed affect our way of teaching. The Effects of ICT technologies on Academic Performance In order to determine if schools and teachers are doing well in education their students, we rely on academic performance as a method to measure the success or lack of success that these schools have.

Ever since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was introduced, schools were forced to make sure that the achievement gap was closed and that every single child achieved some kind of academic proficiency (Education, 2004). Technology is a useful way in order for classrooms to be even more successful than they were before. The use of computer simulation and instructional learning systems are very effective only when they are integrated into a “regular classroom instruction” (Blomeyer, 2005).

It was also said that students that have teachers and instructors that were proficient users of technology did better off than tudents whose teachers were not as familiar with using them in the classroom as stated by the Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, “teachers who are high level users were differentiated from teachers who were low level users in terms of frequency and extend of use of computers with students, instructional methods used with technology, attitude toward the value of technology for learning variety of uses of technology, and perception of influence of technology on student learning and behavior” (Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, We are now seeing special interactive computer programs used to help increase he literacy rates of students.

A study done in Pittsburgh shown that the use of this special software definitely had a correlation between the success and improvement of mathematical skills while using it. An algebra curriculum in a school in Pittsburgh was focused on mathematical analysis of real-world situation as well as the use of computational tools, which was possible by using this intelligent software program. “The 9th grade algebra class used this software regularly that was incorporated into their schoolwork and on average, the 470 students that participated in the xperimental classes had a 15% increase on standardized tests as well as achieving 100% on tests targeting the curriculum-focused objectives” (Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, 2005).

How Meaningful Learning was improved with ICT Technologies When a student engages in meaningful learning, it really shows that the individual is able to thoroughly understand the information that is being taught; “Meaningful learning occurs when there is personal recognition of the links between concepts; better understanding of concepts will result from proper negotiations of meanings cross links that are created with relevant prior knowledge” (Keengwe, 2008). The ideas and information that is being taught is combined with the experiences and prior knowledge that the students have already received on their own, is the effects of meaningful learning. The different emerging technologies help transform the environment that students learn as well as the ways in which people work and live. “A study has shown that when technology is being used, the levels of positive attitudes, motivation, and performance are increased which creates a meaningful learning experience for students while in school.

Eight graders performed ignificantly better on mathematics test when they were using computer technology for real-world simulations and application purposes, instead of a ‘drill-and-practice’ way’ (Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, 2005). Students across nine states used a Jasper video software, which was an interactive video program that was demonstrated to increase the problem-solving skills used on an everyday basis. This video software was used for roughly four weeks during regular mathematics instruction. “After four weeks of using the Jasper video software, the comparative research showed that the students exposed to the interactive video rogram were using their problem solving skills at a higher rate than those who did not use the software for four weeks during their mathematics class” (Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, 2005).

As we continue to incorporate technology into our everyday lives and in the classroom, we have to really focus on the teachers that are able to progress within this constantly changing environment. It is important for teachers to be able to understand how to teach online or using technological devices, as it will better help the ones being taught how to understand it themselves. There are many teachers hat find that there are challenges with using the newest technology, and are even unwilling to use them within their work. “The integration of technology into instruction depends greatly on key factors such as the contexts in which teachers 2008).

When thinking about student centered learning, it can be described as “students are active participants in their learning; they learn at their own pace and use their own strategies; they are more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated; learning is more individualized than standardized” (INTIME, 2001). We can see teachers moving toward student centered learning that they must become facilitators and collaborators, and instruction must move from memorization to problem solving. Therefore, to effectively teach with technology, teachers must shift their instructional practices from a teacher-centered approached to a more student- centered learning or constructivist approach” (Keengwe, 2008). True education reform should really focus on developing teaching strategies that complement the use of technology within the curriculum. Teachers need to integrate computer skills into the content areas and recognize that computers are not ends in themselves” (Keengwe, 2008). The eMlNTS program, enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies, “is an invaluable program that provides 200 hours of professional development, which includes coaching and technical support for teachers as they use multimedia tools to promote critical thinking and problem-solving techniques”. With the use of the eMlNTS program, teachers that were once scared or unwilling to adapt to these new technological ways, will put their stress to ease, as they will be better informed and more willing to use this new technology in their classrooms.

The Effects of ICT Technologies on Learning Disabilities Students with mental retardation, as well as students that have any other learning disability can truly benefit off of assistive technology while learning in school. Expert tutoring software creates a way to provide instruction in smaller, easier steps and at a variety of levels of difficulty. Students are allowed to use this software independently and can work at their own speed and pace. “Most critical for the effectiveness of the software with low performing, at-risk, or learning handicapped students, however, is the capacity of the software to analyze performance and give feedback to teachers and students”.

These advancements that were made in technology have helped people with disabilities, especially mental retardation, to overcome their limitations when it comes to learning and to improve academic, and social stills which are needed to function independently in a society, “According to the US Census Bureau approximately 18. 7% of the 2005 US population reported some level of disability while 12% reported a severe disability. By continually assessing the students’ individual performance the computer assisted programs can be adjusted to the difficulty in task and also experience level of the student” (English, 2008). The technological tools that provide frequent student feedback motivate learning disabled students to remain cognitively engaged, particularly when corrective feedback is immediately provided.

Furthermore, students that are at-risk from low socioeconomic and/or minority backgrounds will improve their educational chances from using online technology in the classroom. “In a Louisiana study, success was demonstrated with low income, at- risk students by using two different teaching styles, a teacher who was not a certified teacher”. The study done continues on to say that achievement gains were more vident by using small groups of students in class and frequent collaboration between the onsite teacher and the on line teacher. In contrast, the students from a traditional classroom showed the same or little achievement gain. Information Communication technologies can open doors to physically challenged learners that might not otherwise be available to them.

It allows for student-centered learning and collaboration, individualized learning programs and more student independence. “In a study in New South Wales Australia, of basic reading and mathematics skills they ound ICT technologies to be an effective tool in teaching; however, they also found that teachers were much more willing to incorporate ICT technologies into their teaching than teachers of ‘non-special’ students”. Applications of Information Communication Technology In the present day, learning in the classroom is really dependent on the use of information communication technology in order to truly enhance learning. As we continue to develop our current technology, we have to fgure out what exact role that computers are going to play in student learning. Students can learn from’ omputers-where technology used is essentially as tutors and serves to increase students basic skills and knowledge; and can learn With’ computers- where technology is used a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process and can serve as a resource to help higher order thinking, creativity and research skills” (Associates, 2005). For example productivity tools such as databases, spreadsheets, computer- assisted design, graphics programs, and multimedia authoring programs (programs for creating computer-based presentations or lessons) allow students to ndependently organize, analyze, interpret, develop, and evaluate their own work.

In addition to fostering independent thinking, these technological processes will also help students Join the workforce with greater abilities. By using technology with real- life links to education and the workforce, technology is used to meet real world demands in careers such as finance, hospitals, sales, and manufacturing. “A report on the state of technology integration in Minnesota documents that information technologies bring the world into the classroom by allowing students to interact with other students in their community, state, nation and world. Information technologies have the potential for being a constant and convenient electronic connector that can join the lives and minds of students, teachers, employers and parents”. Not only will the students and teachers of the 21st century need to have technological skills to navigate through the school system but also for the global economy. In this age of information both groups need to acquire the skills to collaborate and participate to meet the real world needs facing us as a global nation of interconnected economies. For example the technological tools allow students to inexpensively and instantly each around the world, learning directly about other cultures”. By choosing this technological medium up-to-date real time news and events can be acquired instantly. Conclusion used in every setting of our lives. Technology really has increased our ability to learn and absorb more information, as well as communicate and work with others.

Information Communication Technologies help us relay information to others at a faster rate, as well as connecting us with places all throughout the world. It is important to see that ICT technology definitely has an impact on education. With eing able to bring students a different way of learning, we can see that students and teachers are grasping knowledge and using it differently than before. Students and teachers have a wide range of new technology that is available to them, which really shows how fast we are developing. We can see that technology improves skills such as literary, critical thinking skills, motivation, academic performance, and real life work skills.

This is something that has improved over the last couple of decades within the school system that we would not have seen in centuries before this one. Since we place so much trust into ICT technology, I think it is important that we also place that same trust within our education system knowing that the two work well together. The impact of ICT technology and education is one that will constantly keep growing and will only improve us.

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